Permaculture Field Trip

From our good friends at the Pittsburgh Garden Experiment —

On October 24 and 25, join us for a PGE field trip to Isaac “Wiggi” Wiegmann’s farm in Colliers, West Virginia. “Gainfully unemployed,” Isaac has been designing and building a demonstration/educational permaculture center for the Upper Ohio Valley. Check out this video about the farm:

We will rendezvous in the parking lot of West Penn Recreation Center in Polish Hill on Saturday at 11 am and head out to Colliers, WV, a 45-minute drive. We plan on staying overnight, but feel free to come down for the day on Saturday. If you are interested in going with us, please e-mail and we can work out carpools. Plan on bringing camping gear and work clothes. Dogs are welcome!

The Pittsburgh Garden Experiment

Flower Pull Out and potato harvest


Staffski would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the neighborhood volunteers and the volunteers from PNC Bank. We had a nice sized group here in Polish Hill at some extremely early hour to prepare the flower beds at 30th and Brereton St. for winter.

Do you know those lovely green vines that are spilling out of containers all over the city? Exactly like the ones that were loaded into the back of truckski. Well, at the root of all of those vines are potatoes! Yum! These are a variety of sweet potato. Josie Ramsey, Polish Hill’s Green Team leader, says that they are not as sweet as yams or what you would normally find in the grocery store.

While we were prepping the gardens for winter, we also harvested the sweet potatoes. The vines will be used as mulch in the Harmar St. garden. The potatoes themselves? Well, we have three big bags of harvested potatoes at the PHCA office. Stop by and pick some up before they’re gone. Guaranteed, they’re gonna go like hot potatoes!

Eat your lawn!

We have been talking a lot lately about Permaculture and urban gardening. It must be in the air! The Post Gazette has an interview with  Nancy Gift,  a “weed scientist” and director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University. I’ve never heard the term weed scientist before, have you?Anyway, it appears that Ms. Gift has published a book on the subject of eating your lawn —

“I tolerate a lot of wood sorrel in my yard because it’s one of the greens my kids will eat,” said Ms. Gift, a weed scientist and director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University, where she is also an assistant professor of environmental studies. Wood sorrel’s clover-like leaves add a tart, lemony twist to her salads. Read the article

Of course, all of this is just an evil plot to get rid of all of the knotweed growing on Polish Hill. Don’t tear it up, eat it!

Permaculture Working Group


The Permaculture Working Group of the Pittsburgh Garden Experiment is returning to West Penn Recreation Center for an activity and discussion meeting. Interested in urban farming? This event is free and open to the public.

Permaculture Design Group
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
West Penn Recreation Center
30th and Paulowna, Polish Hill

6:30-8pm Knotweed Slash & Dig – Our first attempt at cutting back the Japanese Knotweed at Frank Curto Park. Wear work clothes. We’ll have a trailer to take the knotweed stalks out. Then we’ll dig up as many roots as we can get. Bring your own equipment (like shovels) if you can.
Be Safe!

8:00-9:00 Permaculture Design Discussion

Jeff Jaeger of Octopus Organic Gardening will share projects for an orchard and a decommissioned swimming pool to get us thinking.